updated 07:25 pm EST, Thu March 1, 2012
Company hopes to get more of its chips into cars
Intel is creating a new venture fund to invest in companies developing technologies used in cars and other powered vehicles. The company is planning on putting $100 million over the next four to five years into promising research for automotive hardware, software, and services. The investments could be in developments ranging from navigation to in-car entertainment systems.
Intel is looking for ways to expand beyond its core market of processors for laptops and PCs. Sales of these computing products is expected to decline over time as domestic and global markets become saturated. Although quickly changing, the company has so far failed to capitalize on the strongly growing market for mobile phone and tablet processors that is dominated by other players including Qualcomm and NVIDIA. The company sees the automotive market as holding good potential for future growth. According to Staci Palmer, general manager of Intel's automotive solutions division, cars are one the top "three fastest-growing areas" for Internet content.
This new initiative is the latest effort by the chipmaker to get its products into the car market. The company has established partnerships with automakers BMW, Hyundai, Kia, and Toyota. It's also creating an automotive-focused development center in Germany. Areas of investment could include road condition alerts, voice recognition, and motion and eye movement tracking systems much like Microsoft's Kinect.
The fund will be managed by the company's Intel Capital group, which has invested in desktop and mobile apps. [via The Financial Times]